Carrot Energy Balls

Carrot Energy Balls

We are big fans of The Natural Nurturer. She loads veggies in everything she makes so when we saw her no-bake carrot balls we decided to make it our way with a little help from the cub.

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We started by cleaning the carrots. The cub really likes peeling. The safest way to teach a kid to peel a carrot is to have it flat on the counter and to peel away from their body.

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Use a grater with a handle and make sure it is on a flat non-slip surface. We also taught the cub to hold the end of the carrot and thoroughly explained why the grater could hurt her hands and fingers if they got too close. She did an excellent job completing the task.

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After the carrots were added, the cub added the oats, dates and peanut butter.

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With precision she added the chia seeds and honey.

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A colorful mix of ingredients. No baking – just mix well.

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Grandma Didi had fun teaching the cub how to roll the balls in her palms.

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So much goodness in a bite-sized energy ball.

 

Carrot Energy Balls

(adapted from https://thenaturalnurturer.com/2019/06/12/no-bake-peanut-butter-carrot-balls/)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup finely grated carrot (about 1 medium sized carrot)
  • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey or less
  • 1 cup oats
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 dates pitted and chopped
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips(mini if you have them)

Directions

  1. Combine the carrots, peanut butter, honey, oats, chia seeds, dates and chocolate chips in a bowl.
  2. Mix until all ingredients are blended evenly.
  3. Chill in your freezer for 30 minutes. This helps make the batter to form into balls easier.
  4. Roll tablespoon size balls between your palms.
  5. Place the balls on a cookie sheet and chill in your freezer for about 2 hours or until firm.

Mini BBQ Meatloaf Bites

Mini BBQ Meatloaf Bites

Our little cub is growing up fast and that means we can be more creative in the kitchen for her. We love Jenna Helwig’s Real Baby Food cookbook. We used it when the cub was a baby and love it even more with our second baby. The cub helped make her mini turkey meatloaf bites.

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The Cub and Grandma DiDi got started by greasing the mini muffin tin pan. Grandma DiDi was having a little too much fun with the oil spray. ha!

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Time to make the BBQ sauce! SQUEEZE!

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One of the cubs favorite ingredients – maple syrup! It gives the meatballs a sweetness that any cub would love!

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It’s always important to taste your creations. Grandma DiDi’s signature move is to taste test with a finger lick. The cub is taking it all in.

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Now that they have perfected the sauce, it’s time to add it to the meat.

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The cub has been a little fashionista lately and insists on dressing herself. Girl moms, I know you hear me! Todays outfit is three skirts layered.

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Back to cooking… time to make the meatballs. The cub loves the texture.

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Grandma DiDi shows her how to roll them into balls. The cub is doing an excellent job.

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It’s very important to wash your hands after handling meat! Scrub, scrub, scrub!

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After she washed up, it’s time to brush the remaining BBQ sauce on the meatballs.

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Baked to perfection!

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A perfect serving size for baby cub. We break them up into tiny pieces for her to grab with her pincher finger and thumb. We store them in the freezer and pull one out to for an easy dinner option. Makes a perfect meal paired with a vegetable and some fruit.

Mini BBQ Meatloaf Bites

(adapted from Real Baby Food Cookbook )

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 6 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 egg
  • 1 lbs. ground turkey
  • 1/2 dried breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder

 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease muffin pan or generously spray the cub like Grandma DiDi!
  3. In a small bowl, make the BBQ sauce by mixing the ketchup, maple syrup, vinegar, Worcestershire and paprika.
  4. Beat the egg into large bowl and add the turkey meat, breadcrumbs, onion and  garlic powders and half the BBQ sauce. Mix well with hands.
  5. Divide the turkey mixture evenly among the muffin cups. Brush the top with the remaining BBQ sauce.
  6. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the internal temperature of each meatloaf reaches 165 degrees F.

Note: We store in the fridge in air tight container for 4 days or in the freezer for 3 months.  Also, you can lessen any of the spices if you feel it’s too much for your little one.

 

 

Sweet Potato Brownies

Sweet Potato Brownies

Wow, Wow, Wow, these are good! They are sweet, moist and have the perfect amount of chocolate flavor to satisfy any sweet tooth!

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The cub began by mashing one whole avocado. Grandma Didi pre-cooked and mashed one sweet potato to save on timing. You have to work quickly when cooking with young children.

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We were out of jared applesauce so we used our squeeze pouches. The cub loved this task!

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Proud of her stirring skills – she hasn’t questioned why they look nothing like brownies.

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Learning to crack and egg isn’t easy, but you have to start somewhere. She’s almost got it.

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The kitchen has gained a new member. Little cub is crawling and wants to be part of the action. She’s already a great eater! We haven’t really found anything she hates and we can’t wait for her to start cooking one day.

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In goes the arrowroot, baking soda and salt!

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We had a cloud of chocolate cocoa powder after dumping it in from too high!

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Now they are looking like brownies! Cooking with kids is not always perfect. You must be flexible to your environment and what works best for the child. The cub needed a break so Grandma Didi demonstrated the next step. Nothing was lost in this experience.

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After baking in the oven, perfect little brownies were formed. They are so delicious. We handed them out to some family members and their jaws dropped when they found out what they were made of and that they had no refined sugar. You need to make these!

 

Sweet Potato Brownies

(adapted from https://draxe.com/recipe/sweet-potato-brownies)

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup cooked sweet potato puree
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup agave (original recipe called for honey)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (original recipe called for coconut flour)
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Optional –  nuts, chocolate chips, etc

 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Grease 8×8 pan with coconut oil(or other oil) and line it with parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl, combine avocado, sweet potato, applesauce, agave and vanilla. Once creamy, add in cacao powder.
  4. Add in eggs one at a time.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine  flour, arrowroot flour, salt and baking soda.
  6. Combine both mixtures until smooth.
  7. Transfer to greased pan and bake for 25–35 minutes.

Immune Boosting Popsicles

Immune Boosting Popsicles

Preschool germs! Yuck! They are inevitable and impossible to avoid, but our hope is that if we eat the right diet we can reduce our chances of getting sick.

“Let food be thy medicine, let medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

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The Cub loves popsicles, so what better way to get her to eat a mixture of foods that will help improve her immune system. Let’s break down the ingredients.

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We began by removing the skin from the turmeric. Warning: it stains! So this was a job for Grandma DiDi! Did you know Tumeric contains bioactive compounds with powerful medicinal properties? Turmeric may be the most effective nutritional supplement in existence.

We used another powerful spice, ginger, which is high in gingerol, a substance with powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. We peeled the ginger as well and chopped it up. The cub added it to the blender.

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We juiced Cara Cara oranges and lemons, both packed full of Vitamin C. A necessary vitamin to fight colds. Plus, they are juicy and sweet! And the Cubs personal favorite, Mangos! She chopped the meat and placed it in the blender.

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The Cub gets help from Grandma DiDi squeezing the juice of the oranges and lemon.

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And of course, she had to try the oranges for herself!

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And the mango. Yum!

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Next we add the honey. Honey is packed full of antioxidants. This powerhouse phytonutrient can have antibacterial properties and is a great sugar substitute.

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After all the ingredients were added, little cub joined to blend it up. She loves the noise and the vibration of the blender.

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After all was blended until smooth, we poured the mixture into our Tovolo popsicle molds.

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Into the freezer they go.

immune14Slurp! Delicious and a perfect afternoon snack to help us stay healthy this season!

 

Immune Boosting Popsicles (recipe from relish.com)

Ingredients

  • tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • cups diced mango
  • 1 2-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 2-inch piece of turmeric, peeled and roughly chopped (OR 2 tbsp ground turmeric)
  • 1/3 cup honey

 

Directions: 

  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and place in the freezer.
  2. When ready to enjoy, run pop molds under warm water to release the popsicles.

Chocolate Applesauce Cake

Chocolate Applesauce Cake

When we started this blog a little over a year ago, we hoped to build an online archive of new and old recipes for our family as well as make memories along the way. We’ve done just that, and this recipe is one that has been passed down through the generations in our family. You’ll even see from the directions that you just kind of need to know it to make it. From this Christmas forward, we hope to carry on the tradition of handing out these delicious Chocolate Applesauce Cakes to our dear friends and family.

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Decked out in her Christmas red, The Cub helps scoop the flour.

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“Grandma, you scoop and I’ll level,” proclaims The Cub.

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Next they added the cocoa. The Cub added, “Like the movie Coco!”

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This recipe includes all the yummy spices that make up the season. Together they sniffed the allspice.

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In goes the applesauce with a plop!

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Th cub uses her William Sonoma Lil’ Bear spatula to taste test the batter! Cub approved!

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Stir, stir, stir!

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The cub then adds in the raisins. We had half a bag left so we just let her dump them in.

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Working on her knife skills, The Cub helped chop some walnuts. She’s getting so good at chopping and enjoys it too!

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After the batter is mixed well, The Cub and Grandma DiDi added the batter to the greased mini loaf pans. The Cub is careful not to spill any.

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Cooked to perfection! With a hint of chocolate and a whole lot of Christmas spice! We hope you share our favorite holiday recipe for your loved ones! And if you do, we would love to see your finished product. Tag us #thekitchencub.

 

Chocolate Applesauce Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 TBSP cornstarch
  • 2 TBSP cocoa
  • 1 tsp salt, cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • ½ cup shortening (canola oil)
  • 1 cup raisins, golden or regular
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped

These are the directions that were passed down… 

  1. Mix all together and pour into greased loaf pan and bake in 350 oven for approximately 1 hour. 

 

Directions we actually used: 

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, cornstarch, baking soda, cocoa, salt, cinnamon, clove, allspice and nutmeg.
  3. Add applesauce and oil and mix until batter is well blended.
  4. Add raisin and walnuts.
  5. Grease each pan with cooking oil. Pour batter into loaf pan making sure not to overfill as the bread will rise.
  6. For mini loaf tins bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick runs clean.  If using whole loaf pan, bake for approximately 1 hour.
  7. Cool for 20 mins and serve! Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for a week or freeze for up to 3 months.

Making Baby Food

Making Baby Food

If you haven’t heard, The Cub was recently promoted to big sister and she’s taking the role very seriously. Among helping with her baths and changing her diaper, the cub loves to feed her a bottle and more recently, solid food.

This week the cub helped prep her little sisters food and she had a friend over to help.

Baby1The cub began by peeling the sweet potatoes. Her friend stood by to watch.

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The cub then chops the sweet potato. Once chopped Grandma DiDi cooked them in small amount of water until they are very soft to the touch.

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After the sweet potatoes had boiled and softened, the cub’s friend took a turn at pureeing the food in a blender.

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Then we poured the mixture into ice cub trays to freeze. Once frozen, pop them out for the perfect portioned meal for your baby.

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Next up, the cub’s little sister gobbled up all the yummy food she helped make for her. Bib not included.

 

Sweet Potato Baby Food

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped sweet potato
  • 2+ Tbsp water until you find the right consistency

Directions

  1. Wash sweet potatoes well
  2. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into small chunks
  3. Place chunks into a pan with just enough water to cover potato
  4. Bring to boil and cook until tender, be sure to check on the water level.
  5. Reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the sweet potatoes
  6. Place sweet potato into your blender (we use vitamix) for pureeing and blend.
  7. Add the reserved water or formula/breastmilk as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency

We do this with all veggies and fruit that she can eat.  Just be sure produce is all washed well prior to cooking.

First foods include: Sweet potato, banana, pear, avocado, apple, peas, carrots, butternut squash and oatmeal. As she grows, we will get more creative with her meals and be sure to post our creations.

 

 

Farm Days

Farm Days

Have you visited your local farm lately? We took a trip to ours and learned about veggies, giving back and kindness.

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We danced our way in and were greeted by a wonderful quote.

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“I would like to go to the fields and glean among the ears of grain behind someone who may show me kindness.”

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The greatest part about our local farm is this – they only take pay-what-you-can donations for what you buy. Hard not to want to support such a great cause.

Grandma DiDi shops at this farm weekly and always gives a little extra. She takes the cub from time to time. I hope the cub learns to be as generous as her Grandmother who gives so much to others. And not just with monetary contributions, but with her time. She’s the greatest example of kindness to others.

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“What are these?”, Grandma DiDi asked.  The Cub explained that they were carrots hiding in the dirt!

Teaching youngsters where food comes from gives them greater appreciation and understanding for what they are eating!

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The Cub headed to the chickens to see what they were eating. The farm feeds the chickens all their own produce. On the menu today – eggplant.

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Grandma DiDi explained the difference between curly kale and dinosaur kale. The cub couldn’t wait to try some.

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Fresh produce and sunshine!

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Heading back to the farm stand to buy some produce.

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Grandma DiDi and the cub decide on some dinosaur kale. The cub gets to pick her favorite bunch.

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The Kitchen Cub was here… Get out and support your local farmers. Take your kids along   for a fun adventure.

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And guess what??? She ate the dinosaur kale raw when we got home. 😋